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Liberation: Migrant deaths in Libya ‘dramatically increased’ under the current Italian government

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

ROME – French newspaper Liberation reported on Monday that death numbers of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya to Europe has dramatically increased, and cites the policies of the current Italian government as a contributing factor.

Since the beginning of the year, thirty thousand men, women and children, died in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe on makeshift boats. Moreover, in the last four months, the mortality of the trip has exploded.

In September, one in five to lose their lives or to “disappear” between Libya and Europe, according to researcher Matteo Villa, of the Italian Institute for International Policy Studies. He compiled, based on official figures from UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), stories published in the press and testimonies collected himself, data on departures from Libya, arrivals in Europe and the interceptions made by the Libyan coastguard. As a result, in September, one in ten people managed to reach Europe; seven out of ten were intercepted by Libyans and brought back to the southern shore of the Mediterranean.

According to the researcher, the effect of the tightening of the migration policy of the Italian government, in particular, is tangible: “Before the policies led by Minniti [the former Italian Minister of the Interior, in office between December 2016 and June 2018] did not take effect, about 12 migrants died each day. During the Minniti policies, there were 3 per day. Since Salvini [the new Italian Minister of the Interior of far right], the figure has risen to 8 deaths per day “, further details the researcher.

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